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Editorial: Picks and pans

Plenty of good news to note in Ashland this week:

Pick — The vernal equinox may have been cool and cloudy, with snow on the horizon, but that’s spring in Oregon. We’re glad to see it in any case. The flowering trees and shrubs are already cheering us with their color, daffodils are up and tulips won’t be far behind.

Pan — It’s great that the state of Oregon now requires factories that create air pollution to report their emissions. It’s not so great that Senate Bill 1541 was watered down under pressure from industry lobbyists to the point that few factories will have to do anything to reduce emissions, and evaluating the risks will take years. Still, it’s a start.

Pick — a new mural by Ashland artist Denise Baxter, which will decorate the Paseo de Ashland in Guanajuato, Mexico. In 2016, Baxter facilitated the creation of a mural by Mexican artist Laura “Loreta” Rangel Villaseñor depicting Guanajuato’s historic buildings on a wall facing Calle Guanajuato across from Lithia Park. Now, Baxter will paint a mural in Ashland’s sister city, facilitated by Villaseñor.

Pick — and thanks to City Administrator John Karns, who will retire March 31. Karns, formerly Ashland’s fire chief, has served as interim city manager since 2016, when the City Council dismissed Dave Kanner. Karns had been contracted to serve until the end of the year, but he and the city agreed on an early departure. Karns has served ably by all accounts, and we wish him well in retirement.