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Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to Dr. Brian Gross, a cardiologist at Rogue Valley Medical Center who was honored with a Carpenter Award for community service by Asante Health System. The award is given each year to community leaders who have had a positive influence on improving medical care in Jackson County.

Gross developed a system involving multiple hospitals and emergency responders in Southern Oregon and Northern California that reduced the death rate in the nine-county region to 3.4 percent. Nationally, the rate ranges from 8 to 12 percent.

Jeers — to both sides in the Eagle Point schools strike, for their unnecessary cheap shots at the other side. This from adult educators we expect to set good examples for their students in how to handle conflict resolution.

Instead we get subtle and not-so-subtle digs leveled at each other. In a reference to the school district's decision to close all schools for the week, an email from the employees union said, "D9 would rather see the schools closed tha(n) reach a fair settlement with employees." We doubt the district sees school closure as preferable to anything.

Superintendent Cynda Rickert offered up her own more subtle jab in a letter to parents that began with the statement, "Unfortunately, the employee union in Jackson County School District 9 has decided to walk off the job and strike" as if the union decision were made in a vacuum.

You can argue that both of those and other cheap shots are factual statements, but there's no missing the pointed jabs in the messages.

Both sides bear responsibility for the strike and neither should suggest the other is wholly to blame. Both sides should remember that at some point they will be working together again and make every effort not to burn too many bridges.

Cheers — to Frank Lang, retired Southern Oregon University biology professor, whose dogged determination and hard work brought him back from a serious stroke he suffered less than two years ago.

Lang benefited from prompt action by his wife and the skills of Ashland paramedics and stroke specialists at Rogue Valley Medical Center. But a great deal of the credit goes to Lang, who spent months in rehabilitation and physical therapy, relearning how to perform simple tasks and restoring his eyesight and mobility.

Cheers — to new businesses that are breathing life into the Main Street Market on East Main Street next to Bear Creek. A jazz club, a theme bar, a fashion consignment boutique and a custom bridal shop now are open or soon will be. New ventures always are risky, but the willingness of entrepreneurs to invest is testament both to the economic recovery and to the continued resurgence of downtown as a place to be and do business.