Cheers and jeers
Cheers — to Ashland High School student Gabe Young, who is one of 120 musicians from across the country selected to play in the 2013 Carnegie Hall National Youth Orchestra. The group will spend two weeks in residence on a university campus in New York, then tour the world, performing in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia; London, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Young, 17, will play oboe in the orchestra, an instrument he has played since he was 9. He also plays saxophone, but considers the oboe his principal instrument.
Cheers — to local law enforcement agencies for adopting a policy of aggressively investigating all missing persons cases from the moment they are reported. In the past, police often waited a day or two when a juvenile was reported missing in case the young person was a runaway and would return before long. That approach sometimes led to tragedy. The policy of taking all reports seriously paid off recently when a 14-year-old girl went missing from a Medford skate park. The girl was found safe two days later after an intensive search.
Jeers — to the news that Oregon's infamous "kicker" law could trigger automatic refunds of corporate income taxes despite voters' approval last fall of a plan to dedicate the money to schools. The kicker law makes Oregon the only state in the country to return lawfully collected tax revenue — not because anyone overpaid, but because collections exceeded state economists' projections and therefore the amount the Legislature budgeted. Voters in November allocated corporate kicker money to public education, but that change does not take effect until the next budget cycle.
Cheers — to a small army of volunteers, including a crew from the Home Depot store, that turned out Saturday to spruce up the Phoenix-Talent Little League fields in preparation for opening ceremonies in April. Home Depot also donated paint and supplies to the effort. Volunteers sanded, primed and painted bleachers and dugouts, groomed fields, planted trees and repaired benches and structures.
Cheers — to the resumption of home building at the long-dormant Bella Vista Heights development on East McAndrews Road. First proposed 20 years ago, the project fell victim to the housing bust and went into foreclosure in 2008. Cedar Coast Properties of Vancouver, British Columbia., bought the development last fall, and the first home is now under construction. That's good news for a local economy that could use some