Cheers and jeers

Thumbs up to school security, skate park repairs; down to using Sept. 11 for profit

Cheers — to the Medford School District for taking steps to make campuses more secure in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Superintendent Phil Long said district administrators and School Board members began assessing campus safety after the Connecticut shooting last December with the intent of making schools more safe "without over-responding." It appears that goal has been achieved. Improvements generally include new fencing, cameras, classroom doors that lock from the inside and controlled access to buildings — all reasonable steps that should make parents and students feel safer without undue restrictions.

Cheers — to a new collaborative effort between skateboarders and the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department to repair damage to the city's skate park and keep the park in good condition. Parks officials had removed a drinking fountain and a bench that were damaged by vandals, and closed restrooms. The fountain and bench have been replaced and the bathrooms repaired and reopened after park users approached the Parks Commission with their concerns. We hope that spirit of cooperation continues and succeeds in preventing further vandalism.

Jeers — to businesses that seek to capitalize on a national tragedy by offering special deals. A golf course in Wisconsin ran a newspaper ad offering nine holes of golf for $9.11 and 18 holes for $19.11 "to commemorate" the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. While course owners protested they had no intention of offending anyone and apologized, the ad was in poor taste.

Cheers — to the successful relocation of a Medford methadone clinic. The clinic was required to move from its previous location on East Main Street because it was found to be too close to a day-care center to comply with state law. The new location, amid medical offices near Rogue Regional Medical Center, appears to be suitable, and neighbors are generally supportive.

The clinic provides a needed treatment opportunity to people addicted to opiates, helping them stop using drugs illegally and become productive members of society.

Cheers — to Nate Provost, a 28-year-old Grants Pass man who is putting a troubled past behind him and working to set a world record for the longest handstand on a longboard. A recovering drug user who now volunteers an outreach ministry, Provost spent time in jail before turning his life around. He hopes to skate 2,500 feet while doing a handstand on his longboard on Sept. 21.

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