Cheers — To Marni Bates, the Lewis and Clark college student and Ashland High graduate who has faced a personal struggle head-on by writing a book about it. Bates suffers from trichotillomania, whose sufferers obsessively pull out their hair. Encouraged by a woman she met at a writers' conference, Bates wrote an autobiography during her freshman year of college in which she detailed her battle with the disorder. The book is now in stores. We salute her courage.

Cheers — To Marni Bates, the Lewis and Clark college student and Ashland High graduate who has faced a personal struggle head-on by writing a book about it. Bates suffers from trichotillomania, whose sufferers obsessively pull out their hair. Encouraged by a woman she met at a writers' conference, Bates wrote an autobiography during her freshman year of college in which she detailed her battle with the disorder. The book is now in stores. We salute her courage.

Jeers — to a National Weather Service training exercise during which staff neglected to make sure a mock tsunami alert did not go automatically to Southern Oregon television stations.

Cheers to the exercise, we must add — the threat of a devastating tsunami on the Oregon Coast is all too real, and prompt warnings can save many lives. The problem with the test warning was compounded by the fact that Rogue Valley TV stations also broadcast on the coast, and there is no way to have the alerts appear only there and not here. Tsunamis are not a threat this far inland, although earthquakes certainly are.

Cheers — to the community of Jacksonville, where restrictive rules against filming movies in the historic town are finally being eased. Disruptions from film projects in the past led the city to enact draconian restrictions that made it virtually impossible to film there.

Local residents who remember "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid," starring Cliff Robertson and Robert Duvall, recall the dirt covering California Street, the boardwalks covering the concrete sidewalks and even the rain machines employed during the climactic scene in which a bank robbery by Jesse James and Cole Younger goes awry. That project, which closed California Street to cars and pedestrians for 100 days, and subsequent films led to the restrictions. Cooler heads who recognize the value of film projects to the local economy and to the town's visibility are now actively seeking to attract such projects.

Jeers — to cable and Internet commentators who help spread alarm by giving credence to disinformation and outright falsehoods circulating on topics ranging from health-care reform efforts in Congress to President Obama's birth certificate.

If raving conspiracy theorists want to disseminate lunacy on their own, they have that right. It's a free country. And rational Americans have the right to ignore them until they go away.

But when commentators working for alleged news operations devote air time to these crackpot notions, they are artificially prolonging the conspiracy theorists' time in the spotlight and helping them convince viewers and readers that there might be something to the rumors after all.

Cheers — to the enterprising moviegoer who dreamed up and launched the Web site RunPee.com, which tells movie enthusiasts when to head for the bathroom without missing a key moment.

With all the useless trivia clogging the Internet, it's refreshing to see an innovation that actually makes the movie experience more enjoyable. Now, if only someone would invent a portable cell-phone jammer. ...