Pick — Mike Faught heads off (more accurately, pedals off) into retirement after 40 years in public works, the last nine of those as Ashland's public works director, during which time he shepherded the Road Diet and the water intertie to the Medford Water Commission. Faught will stay on on a contract basis through October, giving the city time to search for a replacement. Then he plans a long-awaited cycling trip across the United States and Europe. We imagine he'll encounter more than a few potholes along the way, but he won't be responsible for filling them.

Pan — to the liquid sunshine that, while very welcome to the drought-plagued region, has lingered quite long enough, thank you very much. Southern Oregonians have been heard to wonder whether they had been magically transported to the Willamette Valley while they weren't looking. Bring on the blue skies.

Pick — Ashland resident Megan Kim, a senior at Cascade Christian High School in Medford, won the state Poetry Out Loud competition, netting her a spot in the national contest in Washington, D.C., April 24-26. Kim recited "Bleeding Heart" by Carmen Gimenez Smith. The win came after she placed fourth in her own high school's competition two years ago and second last year.

Pick — Another retirement, another stellar career: Ashland's longtime librarian, Amy Blossom, will shelve her last book on Monday, capping 30 years at the Ashland library and 40 years in the field. She was named branch manager in Ashland in 2007.