Cheers — to the 61 valedictorians from Rogue Valley high schools who are preparing to launch the next stage of their lives at colleges across the state and the country. The accomplishments of these young people are too numerous to recount here, but they make their parents and their community proud. Cheers also to all of this year's graduates.
Cheers — to Brian Borges, who is demonstrating tremendous courage in recovering after surgery to remove a tumor in his brain. Borges, 17, was named a Community Hero last month by the Children's Cancer Association.
He was diagnosed last summer with juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, which causes a slow-growing brain tumor in children. After surgery to remove the growth, he has had to work hard to relearn walking, speech and motor skills, and has a long road still ahead of him, but manages it all with humor and courage.
Cheers — to Adriana Hillard, who earned a diploma from Crater High School's Renaissance Academy this week despite battling a learning disability and then cancer treatment she is still undergoing. All this came after her family coped with a period of homelessness when she was young.
A physician who evaluated her learning disability in middle school said she would find academics too difficult in only a couple more years, and predicted she would not be able to attend college. She proved that prognosis wrong, maintaining a 4.0 average last year and a 3.2 this year despite her cancer diagnosis in February.
Cheers — to nearly 100 people who showed courteous respect and admirable restraint during a public hearing by the Talent City Council last week on whether it should drop appeals of decisions by Jackson County regarding the Mt. View Paving asphalt plant.
"I have never seen a crowd this large be so well-behaved. I appreciate that," said Councilman Don Steyskal, a former mayor of the town.
Many residents believe the plant is fouling their environment, and members of the building community are concerned about jobs and competition in the market. But all in attendance refrained from outbursts, and listened attentively as others expressed their views.