Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to local runners who turned out to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and to raise money that will benefit the school 8-year-old Martin Richard attended.

Local public defender Justin Rosas, who crossed the finish line in Boston on hour before the bombs went off, organized the run around Lost Creek Lake on Sunday. About 200 runners and walkers turned out, and the event raised about $5,000, which will go to benefit Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, Mass., where Richard went to school.

School officials have been asked to use the money to purchase new athletic or playground equipment.

Cheers — to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who reversed the decision of his predecessor, Leon Panetta, to create a special medal for drone pilots who operate the craft by remote control.

Panetta's decision, one of his last before leaving office, would have created a Distinguished Warfare Medal to honor drone pilots and cyber-warriors whose contributions off the battlefield made extraordinary contributions to combat operations. Veterans groups and others were understandably upset by the decision because the award would have outranked the Purple Heart and other battlefield decorations and thereby diminished the sacrifices of those who serve directly in combat.

In place of the withdrawn award, the Pentagon will develop a special device that can be affixed to existing medals to indicate that the actions being recognized took place off the battlefield.

Jeers — to the dispute that has erupted among aging members of the Cavemen civic group over the fate of the caveman statue that has stood near Interstate 5 in Grants Pass since 1971. The statue is in need of restoration, and some in Grants Pass would like to see it moved away from its prominent place alongside the freeway.

One member the Oregon Cavemen club proposed moving it to Grants Pass High School, home of the Cavemen football team. That met with vigorous opposition from other club members, who voted unanimously to leave the statue where it is.

The club is short on money, and would have difficulty paying to paint the statue. The move to the high school would seem to be a solution so easy even a caveman could ... oh, never mind.

Cheers — to full slates of candidates for local school board and fire district board positions on the May 21 ballot. All seats are contested in Fire District 5 and for the Phoenix-Talent School Board. District 5 has seven candidates for three board seats and Phoenix-Talent has attracted 11 candidates for five positions. Nine candidates are vying for three Medford School Board positions, and the Eagle Point School Board attracted eight candidates for three positions. Voters benefit when races are contested.

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