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November 1, 2013
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Editorial: Roses & thorns


Firm footing

Even those of us who don’t glow when we think back to grades nine (or 10) through 12 have fond memories of the high school gym.

It’s where we gathered for pep rallies, hotly contested matches and the election of the homecoming court. The shape it was in made a difference to us. Nobody wanted to host visitors on a shoddy surface.

So even though looks aren’t everything, they do count for something. So does a reliable surface for athletes. That’s why we want to lead a big cheer for the South Umpqua High School Booster Club, the South Umpqua Schools Foundation and Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe, which raised more than $120,000 to install a new gym floor at SUHS.

The original floor was built in 1965, before Twiggy made a name for herself as a supermodel. Naturally it had taken a beating over the decades. But like most Douglas County schools, South Umpqua High doesn’t have a teeming treasure chest of reserve cash, so students just had to deal with the dilapidation.

The community had been raising money to pay for the project for the past three years. When the three groups got together, momentum picked up and the project was nailed down.

The latest project joins several other gym improvements financed through various sources. The result is a renewed sense of school pride and a venue it can share with the community.

Thanks, donors. You’ve all got a lot of class.


Smooth travels interrupted

No unpleasantness on the bike path, please.

The paved path that winds through Stewart Park, Gaddis Park and other parks and goes all the way to Green provides pedestrians, walkers and cyclists a convenient route for exercising and getting around.

People of all ages and stations in life take that path. It’s a good civic feature. So it’s distressing to hear about trouble on it.

The Roseburg police reported this week that an officer tried to contact three juveniles on the path near Interstate 5 Wednesday with unpleasant results.

Two boys, a 17-year-old and 16-year-old, started to leave and refused to stop. The officer tried to detain a 17-year-old girl who kicked and kneed the officer. Police caught up to the two boys and were cited with interfering with police. The girl was taken into custody on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

The behavior would be bad no matter where it occurred. The fact that it happened on the bike path makes it even worse.


Better things to do

A rally and walk in Winston on Wednesday attracted plenty of attention. We hope the message of the event sticks for decades to come with those who participated.

About 250 Winston Middle School students marched along Main Street chanting, “Don’t do drugs. Better things to do.”

At their young age, they’re just learning of the consequences of drug abuse and addiction on families and communities. Their resolve to avoid drugs is crucial if they want to go on to live successful and productive lives.

Far too many Douglas County residents have found the pull of drugs to be too strong, derailing their dreams and causing them to neglect or abandon their families.

It’s important for students to see the destruction drugs can cause. But rather than making them fearful of drugs, we like the idea of steering teenagers toward positive activities that enrich their lives.

That’s why their slogan of “Better things to do” is a good one to keep running through their minds as they progress through their teen years.

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The News-Review Updated Nov 1, 2013 06:16PM Published Nov 1, 2013 05:11PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.