Cheers and jeers

Cheers — To Harley Casillas, a little-known player from a little-known school in a little-known conference who was named most valuable player at the Mail Tribune High School All-Star Basketball Classic game last weekend. Casillas, a 5-foot-8 Butte Falls senior, delivered a team-topping 17 points during the game featuring the region's top talents. His big plays late in the contest helped vault his team to victory.

Cheers — To U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, who introduced an amendment into legislation approved Monday by the Senate that gives the National Park Service special authority to decide whether businesses can conduct helicopter tours over Crater Lake. If successfully reconciled with a House version, the bill will allow the Park Service to nix such tours without having to conduct a costly full air management plan. A Bend company proposed helicopter tours at the park last year, raising concerns about new noise at the park.

Jeers — To the national Boy Scouts organization, which is involved in a lawsuit playing out in a Portland courtroom this week accusing the Scouts of doing too little to uncover sexual abuse of boys by adults in the organization.

Sexual abuse can happen in any organization, even great ones. But revelations this week about "perversion files" kept at Scout headquarters in Texas raise serious questions about whether this is a great organization or a hopelessly lost one. An attorney for the organization acknowledged it has for many years attempted to track molesters by keeping files on, among others, gay people and atheists. Sen. Joe McCarthy would be proud.

Cheers — To another kind of effort involving a child: the massive and ultimately successful search last week for Zoey Dorsey, the Brookings 4-year-old who wandered away from her home Wednesday afternoon and was lost for more than 24 hours. Brookings resident Robert Crump found the hypothermic preschooler buried in brush at sunset Thursday, providing the kind of ending to the story that happens more often in movies than in real life. Zoey was hospitalized in Portland but had returned home by Monday afternoon, ready to eat doughnuts and play video games, reported her hometown newspaper, the Curry Coastal Pilot.

Jeers — To the ban on hugs at a Portland middle school. Yes, teenagers can go overboard. Yes, administrators ought to set limits — when they're necessary. The hugs were irritating and disruptive, administrators say.

Teenagers do lots of things that are irritating and disruptive. Not all of them are worth banning, an action sure to make them even more attractive.

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