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Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to the Olsrud family's donation of a semitrailer full of food to ACCESS. The large gift from Sherm, Wanda, Steve and Linda Olsrud, owners of Sherm's Thunderbird and Food 4 Less markets, has been an annual event since 2000. This year's delivery is taking place today at the ACCESS Food Share warehouse behind Costco.

The trailer holds 23,000 pounds of food, which will help fill the shelves of the ACCESS network of 25 food pantries.To put that quantity into perspective, ACCESS distributed 55,000 pounds of food every week last year, for a total of 2.9 million pounds.

The Olsruds have been tremendous community supporters for decades. In addition to the trailer load of food, the family has donated all the grocery bags for the annual ACCESS/Mail Tribune "Food for Hope" food drive since 1984, in addition to many other community activities.

Jeers — to the annual ritual of drumming up outrage over a nonexistent "war on Christmas." Have you ever tried to avoid encountering Christmas anytime after Halloween? Go ahead — we dare you to turn on the TV or the radio, go online or drive around town without being immersed in the holiday.

Those who claim to be defending Christmas from all enemies foreign and domestic always manage to drag the Obama administration into the discussion, as though the president has a personal vendetta against it. Just for the record, guess how many Christmas trees are decorating the White House this year — and yes, the White House calls them Christmas trees, not holiday trees.

Give up? The number on the public tour of the White House is 37— 30 of them natural and the rest made of paper, felt or aluminum.

Cheers — to the new parking machines recently installed downtown. Why are we cheering? Well, if we must have machines to help us pay for parking, they might as well be state-of-the-art, and these are. Recently, we spotted a Facebook post from California talking about parking machines that text your cellphone when your time is running out and let you add time without returning to your car. The machines in that California city can't do that. The person posting was wondering when their city might upgrade them, but didn't sound optimistic. Well, we've got them beat.

Jeers — to the bone-chilling cold and fog we've endured of late while a temperature inversion hangs over the valley. Not to mention the murky air quality that goes along with it.

At least the past few days have been mostly sunny.