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Our Opinion: Cheers and jeers

Cheers — To the Fairy Godmother Scholarship Program, which helps local girls attend college. Members of the scholarship committee, made up of women who live at the Rogue Valley Manor and other community members, choose from high school seniors nominated by counselors at their schools. The scholarship winners are then paired with a mentor — a "fairy godmother" — to guide them through their college years.

The program, founded 18 years ago by a Manor resident who wanted to help young women from financially disadvantaged families pursue higher education, awarded 12 scholarships this year. The recipients will get $3,300 a year for the first two years of college.

With college costs rising faster than inflation, every scholarship is important. Bravo to the fairy godmothers who make this assistance possible.

Jeers — to the notion that replacing a slide at Jackson Pool should cost $50,000. We recognize that a slide at a public swimming pool needs to be extremely durable and built to last, with safety in mind, but surely something usable can be constructed for less than that. City officials who are frustrated at voters' unwillingness to approve bonds to replace Jackson and Hawthorne pools two years ago might consider that price tags like that make city residents question levy requests they might otherwise support.

Cheers — to Mel and Brooke Ashland, owners of Bigham Knoll in Jacksonville, for bringing back the locomotive that pulled the first train into town 123 years ago. The Ashlands purchased the locomotive from its owner in Fillmore, Calif., after six years of discussions about the deal. The couple will donate the locomotive to the Jacksonville Heritage Society, and it will be put on permanent display in the original railroad right-of-way below the old high school at Bigham Knoll.

The gift is a reminder that historical societies rely on private philanthropy to acquire major artifacts such as the locomotive. Thanks to the Ashlands for bringing a piece of history home to a historic town.

Jeers — to a bit of hyperbole on the part of medical marijuana supporters who accused local city leaders of "bigotry" for restricting marijuana dispensaries in their communities. The dictionary defines a bigot as "one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."

Concerns about marijuana dispensaries operating in a community may or may not be justified. But we haven't heard anyone expressing hatred or intolerance toward medical marijuana patients.