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September 13, 2013
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Editorial: Roses & thorns


Making amends

Apologies so often are easier to accept than to offer. And a public apology requires an extra layer of humility.

Former Roseburg mayoral candidate Josh Tibbetts displayed that humility by admitting Monday to the City Council he was wrong to boo its members at a Aug. 26 meeting.

Tibbetts rarely has been bashful about asserting his opinions on city government. Whether campaigning in the mayor’s race, applying for an open city council seat or weighing in on municipal policy, he has usually preferred direct and clear communication. He applies it to criticism as well as praise.

But he admits he went too far at the late August meeting that prompted councilors to consider whether procedural changes were necessary to maintain order. Tibbetts’ behavior wasn’t the sole problem. Homeless advocates with Occupy Roseburg threatened to take over the public address portion of the meeting rather than have their matter placed on the agenda. When Mayor Larry Rich enforced a time limit for remarks, Tibbetts objected with boos and comments singling out certain councilors.

On Monday, Tibbetts pledged to behave in a more orderly fashion. The council won’t have to change its rules on his account, he said.

Sometimes he gets “a little strung out there,” he said, but promised to stay in line.

We’ll take you at your word, Mr. Tibbetts.


Experiment to kill

We were hoping they’d reject the stupid idea, but they didn’t.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced this week that it is moving ahead with an experiment to shoot barred owls to try to save the northern spotted owl from extinction.

We’ve never been able to understand why an agency charged with protecting species would be willing to kill another species. We expected the agency to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that protects 800 species, including the barred owl, from indiscriminate slaughter.

Furthermore, the agency is unprepared for this experiment. It will have to train hunters to shoot the barred owls, which look surprisingly like the spotted owl. The experiment is expected to take years to accomplish and evaluate. And the study area encompasses just 1.72 percent of the spotted owl’s territory.

During the study period, it seems reasonable to expect that the nests left vacant by barred owls that are shot will simply be filled with more barred owls that have steadily been migrating from the East since 1959.

We hear about government waste too frequently, but generally after it’s already occurred. This sounds wasteful and foolish before it’s even begun.


Vivid memories

Some people have a knack for bringing color into others’ lives. Count Aleta McGee as such a person.

As gallery manager for the Umpqua Valley Arts Association since 2006, McGee has been the driving force behind exhibits and displays designed to provoke thought as well as to please the beholder. Today marks her last day.

Though we are glad to welcome her successor, Sandee McGee (no relation), we will miss Aleta McGee. Her accomplishments at the arts association are too numerous to list. Fresh in everyone’s minds, though, is the recent Plein Air Event. The gathering brought painters into the open air for inspiration and was the third of its kind in Douglas County. We can thank McGee for launching the project.

Before coming on board at the Umpqua Valley Arts Center, McGee was a co-host for KQEN AM’s “Umpqua Valley Live,” a weekly radio program. In that role, she persuaded the comedian Gallagher, who was appearing in Eugene, to visit Roseburg. McGee also was involved in acting and directing at Umpqua Actors Community Theatre.

We don’t know what McGee plans to take on next, but we wouldn’t be surprised to hear she’s composing a concerto or taking up sculpting.

A reception to bid her farewell takes place from 6 to 8 tonight at the arts center, 1624 W. Harvard Ave., Roseburg.

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The News-Review Updated Sep 13, 2013 11:20AM Published Sep 13, 2013 10:32AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.