Amove is afoot among members of the State Board of Higher Education and
the Governor’s Reset Cabinet, which is looking at ways to reduce the
cost of government, to come up with a new funding model for the state’s
universities. Among the considerations is making the universities more
independent, especially when it comes to finances.
The board is seriously considering a report issued last year by former
University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer. In his report,
Frohnmayer said the universities needed more freedom to raise money. He
recommended that the Legislature give the state board authority to let
the UO, Oregon State and Portland State become public corporations,
which is what Oregon Health & Science University is.
Leaders need vision. They need perception while facing challenges with confidence. They need bravery in the face of situations other people would dodge. They need foresight to make decisions that work in the real world.
Triumph and heartbreak are the key ingredients in the heady brew of a
high school sports season. They give flavor to the long, long months
of practice and travel and competition.
Local athletes had their share of both in the basketball and wrestling
seasons just past. In the state finals, there were champions and
near-champions. Some youngsters celebrated joyously after reaching the
pinnacle, and others grieved for falling just a little short.
And, oh, what a time it was.
Interested in a Landowner Preference bull elk tag? How about a three-night resort stay? Or something as simple and inexpensive as a gift certificate to a local business?
If so, be sure to tune in or go online to the Union County 4-H Radio Auction this weekend. The annual auction is one of the best deals around for getting great prizes and contributing to a worthy cause. All of the money raised from the hundreds of items donated for the auction goes to the Union County 4-H Leaders Association, which oversees the valuable 4-H program.
Oregon needs more coalition builders. The state needs legislators who
can compromise, and not cave, people who know the true meaning of
win-win situations and who don’t aim for win-lose insensitivity. We
need more civil — not combative — discussion where differences of
opinion are tolerated and even respected.
Oregon needs more compromising that is based on common sense and a
responsible approach to legislating. This takes guts in the current
political climate of contentiousness and mud fights.
Take a walk down Adams Avenue and check out what’s new. One of the
first things a visitor might notice is a sort of spring cleaning or
revitalization under way to make the downtown area more inviting.
Among the more visible projects are the bike rack installations and the
hanging flower basket project. All are part of the La Grande Main
Street Program. Sponsorships for the 35 baskets have nearly sold out.
The flowers are growing in the La Grande Middle School greenhouse, and
the baskets should be hung in mid-May.
The La Grande School Board and Superintendent Larry Glaze had a difficult decision to make last week after the campaign committee for the local option levy campaign recommended that a levy not be put on the May ballot. Glaze recommended and the school board agreed that the time just isn’t right for a local levy.
Headlines in newspapers and soundbites on television have a big
tendency to make people believe the world is a worse place to live than
it really is. Bad things, scary things, make the news, every time.
Everyday good things, thousands of them, go largely unnoticed.
The City of Elgin has been a victim of such. Last summer, a
self-admitted meth addict murdered three people there, and, to make the
crime more spectacular, dismembered one of them.
For many long weeks, the little town on the banks of the Grande Ronde
was in the news in a way it never deserved. People who didn’t know
better jumped to the conclusion that Elgin is the methamphetamine and
murder capital of the world.
The current recession is not the Great Depression. Just ask anyone who
was there. The current recession is not even a good recession. When
Congress a year ago passed its attempt to spend the United States out
of the recession, a lot of skeptics questioned the wisdom. There still
are as we wait in rural America for a lifting of the economic cloud.
Investment is one thing. But where is the investment in small towns and
rural regions? It seems as if more than the fair share of the stimulus
money in the $789 billion economic stimulus package is going to the big
cities for tunnels and high speed rail and not to small towns and rural
regions, where small businesses are hurting and people are out of work.
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