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November 15, 2013
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Editorial: Roses & thorns

ROSE

Victorious at volleyball

Congratulations to the Days Creek volleyball team on completing a stellar season and earning their second Class 2A state championship trophy in the past three years.

After winning it all in 2011 and accepting second place in 2012, the Wolves triumphed over cross-county rival Reedsport to claim first place last Saturday at the tournament in Redmond.

The win caps an incredible run for the Days Creek team, especially the nine seniors who will leave a legacy of victory in volleyball when they graduate next spring.

The first-place win capped a 30-2 season for the Wolves under the leadership of coach Ron Dunn.

Taking the state crown was a goal all year for the Wolves, who also placed four players on the all-tournament team. Isabel Golemon was named to the all-tournament team for the fourth consecutive year. Anyone who’s watched or played volleyball knows that means she likely got a few good set-ups from her teammates.

Not only are we proud of the efforts of these players, but we think it’s great they brought some notoriety to Douglas County with their state championship win.

THORN

Hello, is anyone there?

A recent survey of patients who utilize the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center should be a wake-up call for the administration there — we just hope they answer the phone.

The Roseburg VA health care system ranked in the bottom 1 percent of all VA health centers nationwide for “ease of getting the clinic on the phone.”

It was a problem pointed out to the VA several years ago and officials had hoped a new call center would improve access. Since the results of the survey were released, the VA says it has increased staffing in its call center. We certainly hope this improves the service.

We know a lot of veterans depend on the Roseburg VA and they deserve to be able to speak to a real person who can address their health care needs. It may cost a little extra to employ telephone operators but it’s something private sector businesses must do or they lose customers.

The Roseburg VA also ranked poorly for the wait time to see a primary care provider, another area of concern over the years. One-quarter of the veterans polled thought the wait times were too long.

The VA needs to be just as accountable as the private sector, if not more so, because they’re spending taxpayer dollars and they’re serving those who fought for our country.

We hope the next patient survey will show marked improvement.

ROSE

The rescue was real

Larry Allen Strain of Roseburg may have felt safe on an unmoored dock moving down a rain-swollen South Umpqua River last December, but it didn’t look that way to witnesses.

The river was strong enough that day to break a rope securing the dock to the shore, sending Strain, 60, down river. Rescue boats were dispatched, but Strain was reluctant to give up the dock. He says he expected to eventually land safely on shore with the dock and three boats that were tied to it.

Strain’s resistance to rescue has led to charges that he recklessly endangered others. The state has the burden of proof, and Strain says he’s confident of eventually being acquitted.

In the meantime, two Oregon State Police troopers and two Douglas County sheriff’s deputies were appropriately honored for bringing Strain to the riverbank.

Senior Trooper Jason Stone, Trooper Aaron Baimbridge and Deputies Don Martin and Pete Wood last week received lifesaving awards from the Oregon Peace Officers Association.

While Strain says he was safe, others thought otherwise. The peace officers had a job to do, under risky conditions. Leaving Strain to ride it out wasn’t an option.


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The News-Review Updated Nov 15, 2013 11:40AM Published Nov 26, 2013 10:28AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.