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Our Opinion: Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to Gov. John Kitzhaber for his quick action in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a woman who may have suffered a heart attack. The governor was on his way to dinner in Portland Monday night when he ordered his driver to stop and went to the aid of the woman lying at the edge of the street. He started CPR and had one of his Oregon State Police security guards call an ambulance. Paramedics took over when they arrived, administering drugs and using a defibrillator to restore a normal heartbeat.

Kitzhaber, an emergency room physician before he began his political career, is running for a fourth term as governor, facing criticism for the failure of the Cover Oregon website. Unfortunately, his medical skills were no match for flawed programming, and the governor announced last week the state would pull the plug on the project.

Cheers — to a state and federal grant that pays for Advanced Placement tests for low-income Oregon high-school students and provides a reduced fee to all other students. A high enough score on the tests can translate into college credit for qualified students, at a fraction of the cost of college credits later. Exams are offered in various subjects, and students must pay a separate fee for each exam they take — $89 for most students, $33 for low-income students. That expense led some students to forgo taking the tests. Thanks to the grant, the tests are free for low-income students and $56 for all others.

Jeers — to the notion that Oregonians should volunteer to mail urine samples to Oregon Republican Party Chairman Art Robinson, a Josephine County scientist who wants to conduct genetic testing on the samples to study the degenerative effects of aging. Robinson, who has a doctorate in biochemistry, says he wants to collect 15,000 samples. After a year of mailing fliers to Josephine County residents, he has received 1,000. He's now branching out to Medford and other areas.

The slow response seems to be mirroring Robinson's vote-getting ability in his repeated attempts to unseat U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield. He's making his third run this year.

Maybe he should mail out litmus tests instead.

Cheers — to Ashland and South Medford high schools for silver medals by ranking in the top 10 percent of high schools nationwide in a survey conducted by U.S. News and World Report magazine and the American Institutes for Research. The survey looked at scores on state assessments, the performance of minority and low-income students, and Advanced Placement participation. Rogue River Junior/Senior High School and Crater Renaissance Academy received bronze medals in the survey.