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Cheers to snow, jeers to invasive fish

Cheers — to the first snow of the season, right on schedule at the beginning of November after an ominously dry October. There's no guarantee we'll see more anytime soon, but it's a good sign nonetheless. Forecasters say a strong El Niño current in the Pacific will send more moisture our way, and colder temperatures than we've seen for two years are a distinct possibility, which may mean more snowpack for skiers this winter and irrigators next summer. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

Jeers — to the thoughtless person or persons who apparently introduced invasive tui chub into Diamond Lake after state officials took the drastic step of poisoning the popular fishery almost 10 years ago to eliminate the chub, whose population had approached 100 million. A single chub was found in gill nets set to monitor the stocked trout population last month. The invader likely is the result of someone using a chub as "minnow" bait or intentionally introducing the fish, which is native to the Klamath Basin. The chub multiply rapidly, altering the lake's ecosystem and causing toxic algae blooms.

Cheers — to the resumption of freight train traffic over the Siskiyous to Weed, Calif., giving plywood mills and other shippers an economical alternative to trucking their products north and south. The planned two trains a day can carry the equivalent of 30 semitrailer loads. That reduces truck traffic and wear and tear on Interstate 5 while also saving fuel.

Cheers —  to the Medford School Board's plans to stream its meetings live and on demand starting in December. While video of board meetings may not attract large numbers of viewers, any effort to make the district's business more transparent is a positive step. Especially in a district that went through a divisive teachers strike less than two years ago, openness is crucial to maintaining public confidence.