Cheers and jeers

Thumbs up to Dogs for the Deaf leader, trails; down to new birther controversy

Cheers — to Robin Dickson, who led the national organization Dogs for the Deaf for more than three decades. Dickson joined the organization in 1981 to help her ailing father, who founded the nonprofit in 1977 to train service dogs for the hearing impaired. He died in 1986. Under her leadership, the organization grew to be an internationally recognized service dog training facility that places a variety of assistance dogs throughout the United States.

We wish Robin a well-deserved retirement.

Cheers — to Freedom Square in White City, a new housing complex designed for previously homeless veterans and low-income workers. Half of the units are made available to veterans getting back on their feet after being homeless. Eligible vets working with Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics pay 30 percent of their income in rent, and the rest is covered by federal Housing and Urban Development vouchers, helping them get back into society and develop careers. A second complex in Central Point also recently opened, serving working families.

Jeers — to the new furor over the citizenship status of potential presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was born in Canada in 1970 to an American mother and a Cuban father. Cruz has released his birth certificate, just as President Barack Obama did, to prove he is an American citizen from birth, which is a requirement to serve as president. Under U.S. law, children born to American citizens in foreign countries are automatically citizens, as well. That's not enough for the "birther" crowd — the same folks who continue to insist Obama is ineligible to be president. They question whether someone holding dual citizenship — which Cruz apparently does — meets the definition of a "natural born citizen" in the Constitution, which is silent on the question.

We'll give the birthers this much: They may be delusional, but they're not hypocrites.

Cheers — to plans for a world-class system of mountain bike trails in Prescott Park on Medford's Roxy Ann Peak. City parks staff are working with the International Mountain Biking Association to develop the plans. Work could be paid for through grants, with help from local fundraising. The 34 miles of trails would be available to cyclists, hikers and horseback riders.

Why should Ashland have all the fun?


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