WALK OFF YOUR WINTER BLUES
Springlike days have been a bit sporadic the past couple of weeks, what with the snow weve received and the cool temperatures. But Mother Nature is beginning to show some signs of adjusting the seasons to match the calendar, and the remainder of the week is supposed to give us the taste of spring weve all been longing for. The forecast is for highs near 60 this weekend, so plan on enjoying the warmer weather and do something about the cabin fever that seems to be plaguing too many of us.
Although the grass is only beginning to turn green and the daffodils are only starting to poke out of the ground, we should all make a commitment to getting out and trying to enjoy the outdoors more. Its been a long winter.
A little bit of exercise can do all of us some good. A 15- to 30-minute walk three or four times a week will not only break the fever but will be beneficial to our health. Exercise, as more and more studies are telling us, will help us live longer, happier lives.
living here in Northeast Oregon we are blessed with beautiful scenery. Whether we live in Union or Elgin, La Grande or Wallowa, were surrounded by mountains and trees and other wonderful sites that demand that we take a few minutes a few times a week to enjoy them.
So if youre suffering from the winter doldrums, convince your spouse or your kids and the family dog that a walk now and then would be a good thing to do. Its time to shake off the winter blues. Maybe, just maybe, Mother Nature will start cooperating.
STATE SHOULD COORDINATE DRIVER ED TRAINING
Oregon needs a coordinated driver education training program. The Oregon Department of Transportation has convened a task force of teachers from public high schools, private driving schools, community colleges and ODOT to examine the current situation and recommend changes. The study makes sense.
As it is, anyone with a teaching certificate can teach driver education in Oregon high schools. The teachers are qualified, but no system exists to ensure that teachers are up to date with more than just the textbook. New vehicle technology and changes in traffic systems and flows should be part of the curriculum.
A coordinated education program, which actually was mandated by the graduated driver license system approved by the 1999 Legislature, is necessary.
Accidents kill too many of our young people. Anything the state can do to help change the trend and better prepare drivers for what theyll encounter on the roads makes sense. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Young would-be motorists need to be adequately trained.