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A few cheers to brighten Thanksgiving

It’s a day for giving thanks for all that we have, and in that spirit, here are a few items worth celebrating. So lift a glass of your favorite beverage:

Cheers — to the news that Oregon’s economy is roaring along, and economists predict that by next July the state will have $1 billion more in its coffers than was predicted a year and a half ago. Of course, that means there will be battles in the 2019 Legislature over what to do with that extra cash, and how much to sock away for the next downturn, but for now, we can all be thankful for the good news.

Cheers — to the arrival at long last of the first wet storm of the season. As this is written, brisk winds are knocking leaves off the trees in advance of the approaching storm, forecast to bring more than an inch of rain to the valley floor and several inches of snow in the mountains — a good omen for the coming winter, when we hope to see a healthy snowpack develop, making skiers happy and allowing irrigators to breathe a little as they look toward next year’s growing season.

Cheers — to the recommendation of independent analysts that the Medford Air Tanker Base should remain open along with its counterpart in Klamath Falls — if other agencies can be persuaded to help pay for it. The Forest Service commissioned the study, which concluded that closing the Medford base would be counterproductive. Ensuring rapid responses to new wildfires, shortening the flight distance needed to reach them and allowing at least one base to keep operating if the other is socked in by smoke are good reasons to keep those resources functioning.

Cheers — to the news that Miles Scott of Tulelake, California, is now free of the leukemia that threatened his life five years ago when he toured San Francisco as “Batkid,” searching for villains alongside Batman, courtesy of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. After his special day, which drew attention from around the world, Miles’ family created the Batkid Fund to raise money for those three organizations.

Cheers and a happy Thanksgiving to all.

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