Cheers and jeers

Thumbs up to library fund, cemetery workers; down to a perennial candidate

Cheers — to former Medford Mayor Lou Hannum and his three daughters, who have started a memorial fund in honor of their late wife and mother, Carolyn Osgood Hannum, to benefit the Jackson County Library Foundation. A former librarian, Carolyn Hannum passed away Jan. 17. She would have turned 100 on June 29.

The county library system is once again facing an uncertain future as the county looks for ways to balance its tight budget. Any private fundraising is a plus. At the Hannums' request, their fund's contributions will be used to reach out to county residents who don't currently use the libraries. That should help build public support for this service that is essential to maintaining a vibrant community.

Cheers — To four Crater High School students who decided to take on sprucing up the Central Point Cemetery as their senior projects. Hayden Best, Adela Torres, Karina Wahlberg and Melanie Dengler have been working on the cemetery since April. The historic cemetery, established in the 1860s, has fallen on hard times since the Central Point Masonic Lodge stopped providing maintenance. The four students are hoping community members will turn out from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 11 to provide more muscle and needed tools to the cleanup.

Jeers — to Medford School Board candidate Curt Ankerberg, who first insulted an opponent in the race for Position 3 on the board during a group interview with the Mail Tribune Editorial Board and then denied doing so, even after a video recording of his remark was posted on the Mail Tribune website. Ankerberg, who has run unsuccessfully for the School Board and the Medford City Council in the past, first criticized candidate Cheryl Dykes for lacking a college degree, which he claimed made her unqualified to serve. In her closing statement, Dykes noted that her two children graduated from South Medford High School and went on to earn master's degrees. "So you see, we're not all illiterate," she joked, turning to Ankerberg.

"But you are," he replied.

Ankerberg still maintains he never called Dykes illiterate and that the Mail Tribune is lying by saying he did, despite the clearly audible remark on the videotape.

Cheers — to the U.S. Forest Service, which is in the process of adding newer, faster air tankers to its aging fleet of firefighting aircraft. The planes will be able to carry larger loads of fire retardant to drop on wildfires. Cheers as well to the much-needed rain that fell Monday evening along with lightning strikes. The moisture not only doused most of the lightning-caused fires, but will delay the start of fire season as well.

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