Cheers — to Southern Oregon University professor John Bowling, whose quick action saved the life of a Medford man who suffered cardiac arrest during a bike ride on South Stage Road this past summer. Bowling, who was on his way home to Jacksonville, jumped from his car and began chest compressions, eventually succeeding in restoring a pulse. Bowling said he was concerned he wasn't doing the procedure correctly, but it clearly had the desired result, and Greg Johnson is alive today because of it.
Cheers — to the Ashland Community Food Bank's purchase of a building, the first time in the organization's history that it won't be at the mercy of landlords as it has in the past. A community fundraising campaign combined with grants from the city's Community Development Block Grant program, the Oregon Community Foundation and the Carpenter Foundation. The food bank's home, which it has been leasing for nearly two years, is a former fast-food outlet with a walk-in refrigerator and a covered loading dock. Volunteers helped establish a garden behind the building to produce fresh food for distribution.
Jeers — to two former Boy Scout leaders who decided to topple a 170 million-year-old rock formation in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park. The two said they were concerned the sandstone rock perched on a narrow pedestal was loose and posed a safety hazard. But defacing natural features of a state park is against the law, and scouting officials removed the two men from their leadership positions after they posted a video of themselves pushing the rock from its perch. Their actions violated the Scouts' policy to "leave no trace" on outdoor trips.
Cheers — to the "Great Oregon ShakeOut," a drill designed to prepare people for the major earthquake geologists say could strike the Northwest in our lifetimes. Among the participants were students in Grants Pass schools, who practiced "duck and cover" drills under their desks last week. Unlike similar drills practiced by students decades ago in response to the threat of nuclear attack, which would not have helped much, these rehearsals could actually save lives in the event of a major quake.
Cheers — to the restoration of the Enders Memorial Shelter, a gazebo that has stood near the Butler Bandshell in Ashland's Lithia Park since 1916. City Parks Commission members had considered demolishing the structure because it was in such bad shape, but decided to restore it instead. We're glad they did.