Cheers and jeers
Cheers — to the Oregon Cultural Trust, and to the opportunity it provides to support the arts in Oregon and get a tax credit at the same time. Through a state tax credit that is the envy of arts agencies in other states, Oregonians can make a donation to a nonprofit cultural organization, make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust, and claim an Oregon income tax credit for the entire Cultural Trust donation, lowering their tax bill. The state allows a credit of up to $500 for an individual, $1,000 for a couple filing jointly or $2,500 for a corporation.
The Cultural Trust makes grants to qualifying arts, heritage and humanities organizations around the state, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Jacksonville Heritage Association in Southern Oregon. Learn more at www.culturaltrust.org and take advantage of the oppportunity before the end of the tax year.
Jeers — to 38 Republican senators who blocked approval of a United Nations treaty that seeks to improve the lives of disabled people around the world. The U.N.. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — negotiated by President George W. Bush and signed by President Barack Obama — is modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act and aims to bring laws of signing nations up to the U.S. standard.
Opponents claimed ratifying the treaty would surrender American sovereignty to the U.N. That kind of irrational resistance to any international effort makes America a laughingstock on the world stage, but it doesn't stop tea party demagogues from spouting nonsense.
Former Sen. Bob Dole made a special visit to the Senate floor in his wheelchair to watch the vote, and Sen. John McCain urged passage as well, to no avail.
Cheers — to Phoenix Mayor Carlos DeBritto, who leaves office next month after turning 83, has served three terms as mayor and one term on the City Council. His quiet, unassuming demeanor concealed a fierce dedication to his town's well-being, and those who worked with him say he more than deserves the honor of having the new band shell in Blue Heron Park named for him.
Cheers — to ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary Saturday by offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When the Pacific Northwest Museum of Natural History folded in the late 1990s, Ashland residents John and Sharon Javna started a small science center at Ashland Middle School which gradually grew into a larger effort that moved into the former natural history museum.
Today, ScienceWorks attracts more than 50,000 visitors a year.