Voters in the Imbler School District have an opportunity this month to
do something positive for their community and the community’s future —
approve a bond for new school buildings. Never will the cost be lower
than what is being presented in a Sept. 21 special election.
The opportunity, though, is even more significant than helping to
ensure adequate school buildings for years to come. The school district
has received approval of a Qualified School Construction Bond that
translates to zero percent interest on the building bond. The estimated
tax rate will be $2.35 per $1,000 of assessed value. That compares to a
rate of $4.49 per $1,000 for a $4.25 million bond that was rejected by
voters in 2003. Too, deduct the $1.18 per $1,000 that Imbler property
owners were paying for the ag building through 2008, and the net tax
increase for this bond will be $1.17. That’s a bargain by anyone’s
Union County voters will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed
Antelope Ridge Wind Farm in the Nov. 2 election. The Union County Board
of Commissioners this week, by a vote of 2-1, approved putting a vote
on the ballot to gauge how the public feels about the project.
Forest Capital Partners, owner of two-thirds of the timber in the
county-owned Mount Emily Recreation Area, is in the process of logging
the Trails Unit of the recreation area. Forest Capital appears to be
doing a superb job in the way it is going about the logging operation.
Oregon State University is in the process of reconfiguring itself. Not
only are the programs on campus part of the transformation process, but
outreach programs, like the Extension Service, are undergoing review.
Union County has a new veterans service officer who seems to be a
go-getter and is willing to spread the word that benefits are available
to area veterans — many of whom might not be aware of them.
It’s rarer in America for a building to reach its 100th birthday than it
is for a person to reach that milestone. We are a nation that likes all
things new. But there is much to appreciate in the Elgin Opera House,
which will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2012, as a going concern in a
thriving arts community.
Sure, it’s no Aspen. Or Whistler. Yet little old Ski Anthony Lakes does
have much to boast. The area in the Elkhorn Mountains west of North
Powder has the highest base elevation (7,100 feet above sea level) of
any ski area in Oregon — and incredible, breathtaking views. The ski
area 40 miles southwest of La Grande boasts the driest deep powder snow
in the region and, best of all to many winter sports enthusiasts,
virtually no lift lines.
Higher Grounds in downtown La Grande, part of the Old Country
Mercantile, has been the subject of scorn because of the clientele it
draws. But as a story in last week’s Observer indicated, Higher Grounds
owner Steve Fund has made a concerted effort to create something
positive for young people.
The Wallowa County Fairgrounds in Enterprise provides a venue for a
wide variety of events. The county would be remiss to let the grounds
The Union County commissioners are in the process of deciding whether to
put an advisory vote on the proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Farm on the
November ballot. The commissioners held a public hearing Wednesday, and
another is scheduled for Aug. 18. Holding the hearings and putting the
issue to a vote both make sense.
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