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Hooray — the election is over

Cheers — After many hectic weeks of candidate forums, seemingly endless campaign ads, many of them negative, and hundreds of letters to the editor, we're so happy the election is over we can't even muster up a jeer this week. So here are some positive thoughts as we head toward Thanksgiving.

Cheers — while we're on the subject of the election, to Dennis Richardson. The longtime state representative from Central Point wasn't given much of a chance in his quest to unseat Gov. John Kitzhaber, but he ran a strong campaign, relocating to Portland to take on the governor where his support is strongest, and in the end made a very credible showing. We didn't endorse Richardson, but we've always respected his hard work and dedication, and it showed in the campaign. He benefited greatly from questions raised about Kitzhaber's fiancee and her policy role in the administration, but in his comments on Cylvia Hayes, Richardson focused on the policy-related issues rather than the several personal issues that occurred years before she met the governor.

Cheers — to local Halloween revelers, who behaved themselves very well this year, enjoying the holiday without going overboard. Ashland police were prepared if the merriment got out of hand on the first Halloween to fall on Friday since 2008, but problems were minimal. In Medford, police recorded just one arrest for driving under the influence of intoxicants and said things remained calm despite plenty of people in downtown clubs.

Cheers — to local teachers Jennifer Parks and Kristi Healy, who received state awards for  excellence. Parks, who teaches at Ashland's Walker Elementary School, was named the Oregon Council for Social Studies teacher of the year, and Healy, of Ashland Middle School, is Oregon Science Teachers Association Region 4 teacher of the year.

Cheers — to Dr. John Forsyth, honored as the first recipient of an award that bears his name, the Fosyth Community Health Award, for his years of service to the Community Health Center and his efforts to organize local doctors to provide volunteer care to low-income, uninsured patients. Fosyth is retiring after a career that began locally in 1970.