Words to the wise
Book lovers everywhere should rejoice to learn that the Douglas County Library System has secured a Ready to Read Grant that will be used to boost literacy throughout our sprawling county.
Distributed each year by the Oregon State Library, the grant is split among the system’s 11 libraries. This year’s grant totals $20,850. It’s to be used in several ways. The money will help bring performers and artists to library branches, it will place free books in the hands of county children and teens, and it will bolster summer reading programs. In addition, the grant will help take library materials to preschools and the United Community Action Network’s Head Start programs.
We’re grateful to the state for making these funds available, and to our local libraries for their dedication to reinforcing the magic of stories and books to all young readers.
It’s no secret: Victoria Hawks has been named to the Roseburg City Council seat vacated by Rick Coen. It wasn’t a shoo-in. Unlike a few recent times of council vacancies, there were four candidates for the Ward 3, Position 2 opening. That’s heartening when stopping to consider this is a volunteer post requiring many hours and little thanks. In the end, most councilors decided they favored Hawks, 72, for her experience and community ties. Certainly her list of extracurricular activities is a long one. She’s on the Douglas County Planning Commission and an advisory committee looking into downtown improvements. She’s been involved with the Douglas Education Service District Board, Battered Persons’ Advocacy, Greater Douglas United Way and the Roseburg Downtown Association. A real estate broker and co-owner of Hawks & Co., Realtors in Roseburg, Hawks is the city’s real estate agent, but has said she will recuse herself when related matters come before the council. We don’t want to make too much of the fact that the council has been without a female representative for a year. Still, while it shouldn’t be a reason for choosing a woman over a qualified man, it’s a bonus to have more diverse representation on the city’s governing board. Congratulations, Ms. Hawks.
Feather in her cap
Here’s a salute to a Melrose teen who has a passion that she’s pursuing in a methodical, responsible way. Bonus points for the unusual — some might say medieval — nature of her studies. Josie Marchi, 14, has spent two years as an apprentice to a retired wildlife biologist who is teaching her the essentials of falconry. Master falconer Dave Peterson took Marchi under his wing as an apprentice, which has required hours of practice training birds of prey for hunting excursions. Peterson is teaching Marchi about the care and motivation of raptors. The lessons require patience and perseverance, qualities some older adults might say are in short supply with the young. Not Marchi. She’s the youngest apprentice falconer in Oregon and hopes to become a master like her mentor. We’ll take a bird’s-eye view and predict she’ll hit her target.