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September 20, 2013
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Editorial: Roses & thorns

ROSE

Vital signs

Roseburg High senior Sean Bowden looks forward to going to the hospital. And it’s a place he knows well.

During the past three years, the 17-year-old has spent around 500 hours in service to the Mercy Youth Volunteer Program through Roseburg’s Mercy Medical Center. He restocks medical supplies and helps out patients by bringing food, water or blankets. He’s also worked with younger students who come in for program activities designed to let kids know that hospitals aren’t always scary places.

Bowden’s energy and enthusiasm earned him a trip to Washington, D.C., last June. The trip was a result of his recent selection as one of 11 regional representatives of the I Am Oregon campaign, which features, among other components, a statewide network of Oregonians sharing community service ideas and resources.

Besides learning more about nonprofit work and leadership through I Am Oregon, Bowden received the Outstanding Youth Volunteer for Oregon Award at a recent governor’s volunteer awards luncheon. He helped launch RHS’s Drug Prevention Team, belongs to the National Honor Society and the Roseburg Rotary Interact Club and is a varsity track athlete. And he has a 3.8 GPA.

We haven’t even mentioned his activities through internships or his community volunteer work.

Bowden, who appears to be humble as well as incredibly occupied, has said he’d like to be an emergency room physician. Whether he opts to do that or anything else, we don’t doubt he’ll make a healthy contribution to his surroundings.

THORN

Think of the children

We expect parents to set good examples in front of their children and their children’s friends. One Roseburg father failed to meet those expectations Monday morning and he paid the price.

The 30-year-old man decided to protest the location of his children’s bus stop by standing in front of the school bus and blocking the street.

He reportedly was so belligerent that neighbors began calling 911. When police arrived on the scene, he still refused to move. That’s when officers arrested him, over his resistance, and took him to jail.

The experience had to be confusing and may have been scary for the children on the bus. It’s unfortunate the man didn’t think about how his behavior may affect the youngsters.

We trust the bus driver was able to reassure the children and deliver them safely to school.

We hope the father realizes a better approach is to call the school district’s transportation officer and calmly voice his concerns over the bus stop location.

The city police don’t determine where the bus stops are located, but they are charged with dispatching unruly fathers to jail.

ROSE

Safety net in place

It would be better if Douglas County didn’t need a safety net. But county finances are too precarious to proceed without one.

Thankfully, the U.S. Senate provided some security Thursday by passing legislation that would extend the Secure Rural Schools program for another year.

The 33 counties in Oregon that receive payments would get approximately $100 million for basic services.

The legislation now goes back to the Republican-controlled House, which passed a similar measure this year. Extending the payments appears to enjoy bipartisan support.

The payments, initiated in 2000, recognize that rural counties need financial support.

It would be better if lawmakers took steps to make the payments — and safety net — unnecessary by reforming the management of federal forests. Until then, a safety net is indispensable for counties on the verge of failing.


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The News-Review Updated Sep 20, 2013 10:36AM Published Sep 20, 2013 10:24AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.