Cheers — To all the road crews, public works employees, police officers, firefighters, tow truck drivers and others who put in long, cold hours helping to keep people moving and out of danger during the freezing and snowy conditions over the weekend and beyond.
The weather that struck Oregon was particularly felt in Southern Oregon, where more snow fell and temperatures remained farther below normal than in other parts of the state. Some areas are still basically icebound, as roads in shady areas and north-facing slopes remain better suited for skating than driving.
But as dicey as it seemed at times, it would have been far worse were it not for the efforts of road crews sanding and plowing, police, fire and paramedic crews responding to accidents and tow truck operators going round the clock to get people's vehicles out of various ditches and other predicaments.
Jeers — To the yayhoos who think the rules of physics don't apply to them when it comes to driving on icy roads. It's bad enough that they put themselves and their passengers at risk, but they also put everyone in their paths at risk.
We will admit that we wouldn't be heartbroken to see them (injury-free, of course) stuck in a snowbank — as long as it doesn't screw up the traffic for the rest of us.
Cheers — Belatedly, to the Cascade Christian High School football team, which brought home a state championship after defeating Nyssa 41-6 on the last day of November. It was the second state football championship for the school, which also won in 2006.
It's obvious from reading the stories about the Challengers and their successes that this is a team that excelled because it is a true team, a group of individuals who were united in their determination to reach the top. Congratulations to them for doing just that.
Jeers — To Cover Oregon, which continues to foul up a system that has so much promise. First we read, on Monday, that the health insurance exchange agency likely will run out of money because it has been so inept in getting its system up and running.
With fewer people signing up because of a computer fiasco, the agency will collect fewer of the fees it had anticipated. Meanwhile, it is pouring federal grant dollars into fixing the technology glitches.
Then, on Wednesday, came the news that people who met the Dec. 4 deadline for signing up may not be covered and will have to seek interim coverage elsewhere. That's despite the assurances of agency officials and Gov. John Kitzhaber.
This country and state need health care reform and there are some promising systems being put into place. It's sad that the people making those promises can't seem to live up to them.
Cheers — To piano teacher Margie Daly of Phoenix, who was the winner of a drawing for a piano and who promptly gave the piano to a promising adult student, Maribel Garcia, who never would have been able to afford one herself. Daly regularly gives the gift of music to her students through her lessons, but she topped that this time with a gift that will ensure the music plays on in one household.