Cheers — to the Ashland City Council for agreeing to open Pioneer Hall as a homeless shelter one night a week. staffed by trained volunteers from local religious congregations. The issue of shelter for the homeless has been debated for a long time in Ashland, especially in the winter months. First Presbyterian Church stepped up to offer space on Monday nights, and Trinity Episcopal opened its doors on Wednesdays. This solution adds a Thursday night option in a city-owned building staffed by members of Temple Emek Shalom and Rogue Valley Universalist Fellowship. The city is providing the cost of the building use and a modest increase in insurance coverage. That's a creative partnership between local congregations and city government.
Jeers — to anyone who continues to insist that Oregon is not a good place to do business or that taxes here are so high they prompt people to move out of state. The most recent data on intra-state migration is now available, and Oregon ranks second in the nation, behind only Washington, D.C., for the ratio of people moving in versus those moving out. The numbers are courtesy of Atlas Van Lines and United Van Lines, two of the largest moving companies in the country, and reflect more than 393,000 moves among all states and the District of Columbia. Oregon had a 59.51 percent rate of people moving in. Anything above 55 percent is considered a high rate, but only Oregon, North Carolina and D.C. rated high in the combined data.
Cheers — to 94-year-old Lyle Fenner, who visited his wife every day for seven years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and move into a care facility in Roseburg. Fenner fed his wife of nearly 63 years breakfast and pushed her wheelchair around the halls for hours. His own health problems have forced him to end the daily visits, but he still calls nursing staff every night to check on her welfare.
Fenner is a shining example of marital devotion and an inspiration to all.
Cheers — to Carson Barry of Ashland, who collected more than 2,000 diapers for the Family Nurturing Center as her eighth-grade graduation project at the Siskiyou School. Barry, 13, made it her goal to help the struggling parents of babies and toddlers served by the center. Diapers are a major expense for low-income parents.