Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to the troupers of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, who are living out the adage that the show must go on after a sagging roof beam forced the closure of the Angus Bowmer Theatre on Saturday. Hundreds of festival employees and volunteers have joined forces to ferry costumes from beneath the stricken theater and direct patrons to stripped-down productions of the Bowmer plays at the Historic Ashland Armory, rented temporarily. The drive and professionalism that has built OSF into the premier regional theater company in the nation has shown through in the festival's response to this unexpected crisis.

Jeers — to the city of Portland, which dumped 8 million gallons of drinking water after a security camera filmed a man urinating into a city reservoir. Never mind that urine is sterile, and the enormous volume of water meant the contamination was diluted so much as to pose no health threat. Workers who clean the reservoir twice annually have found paint cans, animal carcasses and dog waste bags at the bottom. The city defended its action, but it's hard to justify dumping $28,000 worth of water over something so trivial.

Cheers — to Treven Keeling, who turned his life around after attending what he described as "high-school boot camp" at the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program in Bend. Keeling was a gifted student but was bored with the traditional classroom setting and skipped class and ignored homework assignments. He dropped out of Central Medford High School five months ago.

The strict military-style discipline at the Youth Challenge Program snapped him out of it, he told a Mail Tribune reporter.

The National Guard and the Bend-La Pine School District deserve credit for operating the program, but the formula wouldn't have worked if Keeler hadn't decided to apply the lessons to his own life.

Jeers — to University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere, who deservedly had his hands slapped by the state Board of Higher Education for his attempted end run around university system reform efforts. Lariviere took his own plan, which would have given U of O special status among all state universities, directly to the Legislature. He later withdrew the proposal to help pass a bill giving greater autonomy to the university system as a whole, but the board that hired him was not pleased.

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