Cheers

Cheers — to the volunteers who turned out in droves to renovate a run-down ball field at the Upper Rogue Cal Ripken Fields in honor of Ethan Jostad, the Eagle Point 9-year-old who lost a battle with a rare childhood cancer last month. Hundreds of hours of work transformed a hard-scrabble diamond with no dugouts into a state-of-the-art field in time for the third annual Ethan Jostad Softball Tournament that benefits Ethan's Foundation, established in his memory to raise money for cancer research.

Cheers — to the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the U.S. military's official ban on openly gay service members. The long-awaited repeal of the policy took effect Tuesday. Now men and women who want to serve their country in uniform can do so openly, without fear that who they are will prevent them from having a military career.

The policy resulted in the discharge of 14,000 service personnel since 1993, when the law was enacted under President Bill Clinton. Congress voted to repeal the law last December, after a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional. The military spent months preparing the the repeal to ensure it would not disrupt military operations.

Pentagon officials say they have found no evidence so far that the repeal has disrupted forces or harmed unit cohesion. The repeal was far more controversial to civilian opponents than to military personnel themselves.

Cheers — to Jackson County Commissioner John Rachor, who did the right thing when he discovered what he thought might be American Indian burial sites on property he owns near the Table Rocks. Rachor asked the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde for advice on how to proceed, and invited tribal representatives to research the sites.

Tribal officials say the rock cairns likely are not burial sites, but they may have other significance.

Cheers — to the Jacksonville Planning Commission for applying common sense to an application for live music outdoors at South Stage Cellars tasting room and wine garden on Third Street. The winery had been presenting music by small groups of up to three musicians, lasting until 7 p.m. three nights a week and 9 p.m. on Fridays. A complaint about excessive noise revealed that live music had not been approved for the site.

In a meeting last week, only one person spoke against allowing the music, and was opposed to amplified outdoor music anywhere in the downtown area. Several attendees spoke in favor.

Jacksonville's unique ambience is enhanced by wine tasting and low-key musical performances at reasonable hours, helping to attact visitors and support the town's tourism-based downtown area. Why should Britt patrons have all the fun?

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