Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to the transfer of the former Butte Falls Hatchery to the Butte Falls School District for use as an outdoor environmental lab.

With the help of Oregon State University's Natural Resources Educational Program, the district will train its teachers to integrate outdoor curriculum into the classroom. Eventually, district officials hope to see a working science lab where students can raise fish and scholars can conduct research.

Jeers — to the predictable but wrongheaded assertion from some gun owners that a moviegoer armed with a handgun could have stopped a gunman's rampage that killed 12 people and wounded more than 50 in Aurora, Colo. Anyone with an ounce of common sense understands that an ordinary gun owner in a dark movie theater filled with gas or smoke would have difficulty even locating the right person to shoot at, let alone firing with the pinpoint accuracy needed to bring down a shooter wearing a bulletproof vest and firing an assault rifle with a 100-round magazine. The most likely result would have been more innocent bystanders getting shot.

Cheers — to Medford Senior High School and Southern Oregon University graduate Maureen Bedell, who has been promoted to the position of deputy superintendent of the Oregon State Police — second in command of the statewide law enforcement agency.

After earning a bachelor's degree from Oregon State University and a master's from SOU, Bedell started with OSP as a dispatcher, became a trooper in 1994 and rose through the ranks, serving as detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and major.

Jeers — to whoever decided booby-trapping mountain bike trails was justifiable under any circumstances.

A U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer arrested a man Sunday in the Ashland Watershed after cyclists reported he may have dragged downed trees across a popular bike trail. Bikers have contended with mountaineering rope and parachute cord strung across authorized and unauthorized trails in the watershed, causing riders to crash.

So far, no one has been seriously injured.

Riders have been criticized for causing erosion and damaging the terrain by using unauthorized routes. If riders are causing damage, they should be held accountable and prosecuted if necessary. But sabotaging trails and potentially injuring or even killing riders is not the answer.

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