Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to the Medford Mustangs, who gave the Grants Pass Nuggets a lesson in baseball, sweeping a best-of-three playoff series by scores of 11-0 on Monday and 12-5 on Tuesday. The Mustangs will ride that momentum into the American Legion AAA state tournament next week in Corvallis. Make us proud, Mustangs.

Cheers — to the Jackson County Fair, which is busily pumping millions of dollars into the local economy this week while entertaining a projected 150,000 visitors. The fair's direct economic impact is $3 million, and Fair Manager Chris Borovansky says the indirect impact, using a "conservative multiplier," is probably $11 million for the fair's six-day run. Counting the many other events at the fairgrounds throughout the year, the impact on the local economy is likely $20 million, he says.

The best part, for taxpayers, is that the fair has been entirely self-supporting for three years. Credit for that accomplishment — and for the fair's ever-evolving offerings — is due in large measure to Borovansky, who has led the annual extravaganza for 21 years.

Jeers — to the Chinese government, which appears to believe that quarantining foreign visitors will prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu virus, which, while widespread, has proved to be less deadly so far than ordinary flu viruses that crop up every year. The Saint Mary's School students quarantined in a three-star hotel reportedly had as pleasant an experience as one can have while being cooped up against one's will. But an American professor, whose account appeared on last Saturday's editorial page, had a much less enjoyable stay in a seedy motel surrounded by fences and guards. But he and his fellow airline passengers were not high-school students visiting under the auspices of a Chinese organization, so the authorities had little incentive to treat them well.

Cheers — to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which will send thousands of members out across the state this weekend to perform community service projects. In Jackson County alone, 800 Mormons are expected to show up Saturday to clean and repair the Bear Creek Greenway trail from Ashland to Central Point.

The effort is part of the Mormon Helping Hands Project and is in honor of Oregon's sesquicentennial being celebrated this year.

Cheers — to the Meyer Memorial Trust, which has given the Rogue Opera a three-year capacity-building grant, enabling the small opera company to hire a public-relations and marketing director and put the operation on more solid footing. The first installment of the grant last fall led to the opera's best-ever ticket sales and private donations last season. The opera is an integral part of Southern Oregon's rich cultural life, and we look forward to more success in the future.

Jeers — to the weather. We know, everyone complains about it but no one does anything. Still, when the temperature hovers near 100 for days on end — and will approach 110 this weekend, if you believe the Weather Service — it's enough to make anyone cranky. Something should be done.

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