Cheers and jeers

Thumbs up to police crackdown, SOU grad; down to sugar beet sabotage

Cheers — to the Medford Police Department for getting tough with a low-budget motel that has become a haven for drug dealers and other undesirable residents. Medford Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) officers spent two months investigating drug sales originating from the Cedar Lodge Inn on North Riverside Avenue. While they were arresting two men who were living there on heroin trafficking charges, they arrested a third man on a past heroin warrant and found methamphetamine in the vehicle of a fourth man who had been banned from the property. Police now say they will contact the owners of the motel and instruct them to fix problems there. If they don't, police could proceed to have the business shut down.

Jeers — to saboteurs who destroyed genetically modified sugar beets being grown on two parcels of land in the Rogue Valley under contract to Syngenta Corp.

Seed from genetically modified beets is used to grow sugar beets that are resistant to weed-killing herbicides. This is an increasingly controversial practice, and opponents of GMO crops say pollen from the plants can threaten the livelihood of farmers growing certified organic produce.

GMO crops may be a threat to health and well-being, or not. But the people who resort to such acts succeed only in damaging their own cause.

Cheers — to Southern Oregon University graduate Shane Boyd, who persevered through combat duty in Iraq to recover from wounds he suffered there and complete a bachelor's degree at SOU. Boyd, 38, was a featured speaker at SOU's commencement ceremony on Saturday.

Boyd's professors call him an inspiration to his classmates and one of their favorite students for his enthusiasm and thoughtful contributions.

Cheers — to Arlin Stafford of Wimer, who finally received the Bronze Star medal he earned in World War II. The 92-year-old veteran served in the Pacific Theater during the war, seeing action on Saipan and Okinawa, among other places. He received the medal through a U.S. Army program that awards decorations to veterans who earned them but never received them.

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