Thumbs up to Ducks, down to Fox News
Cheers — to the University of Oregon football team members, who showed great poise and determination all season long, even though they came up short in Monday's national championship game. Despite the disappointment, the Ducks represented Oregon well, and can point with pride to a tremendous season punctuated by quarterback Marcus Mariota winning the Heisman Trophy. There will be more seasons, and Oregon is now positioned among the elite football programs in the country. Congratulations, Ducks.
Cheers — to the news that the local housing market is finally returning to normal after being pummeled in the collapse that led to the Great Recession. Prices have rebounded to the point that developers can recoup their investment dollars, and new home construction has resumed in earnest. Distressed transactions — foreclosures and short sales — made up 60 percent of sales in 2011, but in 2014, nearly 86 percent of existing home sales were considered normal.
Jeers — to Fox News, for painting a financial dispute with a satellite television provider as a free-speech violation. It's nothing of the sort. Fox News Channeland Dish Network have been unable to agree on a new contract, meaning Dish isn't willing to pay as much as Fox is demanding. So when talks broke down, Dish did what TV providers do in such situations: it dropped Fox News from its channel lineup. In a national ad aired over the weekend, Fox commentators Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly exhorted Dish customers to switch providers. "They're censoring what you see!" O'Reilly declared. Nonsense. Censorship is something governments do, not business entities. Fox is still being viewed on other cable and satellite systems. Fox is certainly entitled to take its case to viewers. Just don't call it censorship.
In memoriam — Neither a cheer nor a jeer, but a final note of sadness this week: Former Medford School Board member Paulie Brading died Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Brading, who also chaired the Jackson County Democrats and the Jackson County Public Health Advisory Committee, was a staunch advocate for the interests of disadvantaged Medford students. Never a shrinking violet when it came to letting people know where she stood, she was instrumental in changing the leadership of the school district.