Despite the depressing news that California Gov. Gavin Newsom put the economy back into low gear on Monday, there are things to cheer about in Redlands this week.

No. 1, we’re seeing a lot more people wearing masks in Redlands. Along with physical distancing, this is the easiest way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Keep it up.

We also applaud the city’s experiment with outdoor dining on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. No indoor dining, governor? We’ll just spread out on the streets of downtown Redlands.

And we’re pleased to see Redlands Bowl Performing Arts not giving up on the 97th season of the Summer Music Festival. Every show is being broadcast on the bowl’s Facebook and YouTube channels, and rebroadcast later on Redlands TV, channel 3 on Spectrum cable and 35 on Frontier.

Bowl Executive Director Beverly Noerr encouraged backyard viewing parties and our freelancer Siw Heede found one (Page 12). It’s not the same as being in our beautiful bowl, but at least you’re out under the stars.

Speaking of freelancers, we salute freelance photographer David J. Card for his shot of Comet Neowise on Page 2. He photographed the comet — named after the space telescope that first spotted it on March 27 — early Saturday morning at Lake Gregory, which is named after Redlands pioneer Arthur Gregory.

And speaking of historic moments, we salute the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District and several other local organizations for finalizing the agreement on the Santa Ana River Wash Plan. This plan has been in the works for nearly 20 years.

It protects threatened species in the wash between Redlands and Highland roughly from Alabama Street to Bryant Street. It transfers property to CEMEX and Robertson’s Ready Mix so they can expand the aggregate mining operations. As long as this area is growing, we're going to need these mining companies, which generate more than $36 million in annual payroll.

It took a bipartisan act of Congress to make this happen led by our two local congressmen, Republican Paul Cook and Democrat Pete Aguilar. And it was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.

Also in the works is completion of the Santa Ana River Trail through the wash. We can never have too many trails. And it’s reassuring to know that at least there will be some place in the East Valley that’s not wall-to-wall houses.

As Monty Python sang in their 1979 movie “Life of Brian,” always look on the bright side of life.