Pick: The ambitious remodeling project that will transform "The Bricks" at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, increasing access for patrons with limited mobility and providing better viewing for the festival's free Green Shows. The first third of the project is already complete; the second phase will happen between November and next June. The final phase will add more wheelchair seating in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.
Pick: The colorful new mural decorating the west wall of Sesame Asian Kitchen overlooking the Calle Guanajuato brings the flavor of Ashland's sister city, courtesy of Guanajuato, Mexico mural artist Laura "Loreta" Rangel Villaseñor, who painted the mountains, buildings and streets of her city. Ashland residents Barry and Kathryn Thalden commissioned the work and their foundation funded it.
Pan: The loss of two American flags displayed for the Fourth of July by the Kiwanis Club of Ashland. The Flag Program is a fundraiser for the club, which uses the proceeds to pay for programs for youths and others in the community. Replacing the flags cuts into those proceeds. It's a shame that anyone would dishonor the nation's birthday by stealing the symbol of the freedom being celebrated.
Pick: Eric Avila, former SOU track standout, who made it into the Olympic trials at the last possible minute by putting on his own meet so he could clock a qualifying time. That was after battling back from anemia over the past year. Regardless of how he finishes at the trials, he has again proven himself a winner.