Letters and comments for February 18, 2011
Letters and comments for February 18, 2011
Experience ‘sixth man’
For many years La Grande High School’s “sixth man’’ has been known throughout the state as one of the loudest, most involved cheering sections. Our community has had the privilege of cheering for many great teams, games and players. We’ve also been entertained by talented singers, dancers and cheerleaders.
This year there has been a great addition to the LHS basketball experience. We are speaking of the new pep band and the drumline under the direction of Chris Leavitt. These kids put their hearts and souls into providing entertainment during games, and the spirit they bring to the whole experience is really something.
Coaches and players know how important it is to have a loud and enthusiastic crowd behind them. The LHS Drumline and Pep Band really rock the place and have added greatly to the atmosphere in the gym. Recently, Boon Setser, LHS principal, joined in and played with the drumline, bringing the total number of drummers to 16 — enough to shake the place to the rafters.
We would like to invite the community to come to the last regular-season home game tonight to support the boys and girls teams. We want you to feel the spirit of La Grande’s “sixth man’’ and join in what is sure to be an entertaining evening.
The La Grande City Council has embarked on a mission to listen and involve the citizens in a variety of ways. On April 13 the city council and the city staff will hold the first La Grande Speaks, La Grande Listens meeting. It is our fervent hope that many citizens will come to the meeting and express their views of our beautiful city. The city council will also communicate regularly through articles like this and radio interviews.
The topic this time was to be the great things about La Grande, but the tragic loss of the historic pavilion to fire on Saturday made us shift our focus. The stately structure was a landmark and everyone can relate a wonderful memory of the grand pavilion. It was home to so many events that it was scheduled literally every weekend and several times during the week all spring and summer.
I remember moving here in 1973 and being in awe of such an open and inviting place to visit, picnic or just rest a bit during a walk. Many of our civic groups have used the pavilion over the years for worthy causes. Just one great example is the fundraising breakfast that the Soroptimist Club holds every June. Sadly we won’t be able to use the pavilion for that event this year.
We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support and willingness to help us rebuild the pavilion. The city council and city staff are committed to seeing the pavilion is rebuilt in a way that honors the legacy of the 97-year-old landmark.
We will work with haste, but the reality is that it is unlikely we will have the new pavilion completed this summer. We are looking ahead to our new memory-making pavilion that will rise from the ashes. Together we will make it happen. If you would like to help, please contact our Parks Department to join those who have already pledged their support.
Mayor Daniel Pokorney
On behalf of the La Grande City Council
Special place to gather
A great big thanks goes out to the brave firefighters who battled the pavilion fire and ferocious winds Saturday morning.
We were awakened by the sound of what we thought was golf ball-size hail hitting our roof. We had no sooner awoke when the sound of fire engines were arriving across the street. The Riverside pavilion was totally ablaze!
The wind was roaring 20 to 30 mph and the wooden shingles that have been on the pavilion’s roof for more than 75 years were blowing off, completely ablaze. We are so lucky that the fire department was here extinguishing every little fire that started or we would have lost our home.
We watched in horror as the blazing embers flew from tree to tree and across the road up against the lilac hedge in front of our home.
How sad to watch a fire consuming a building that so many memories were made in.
We have seen many visitors coming to view what is left of the pavilion since the blaze. We have watched people standing and staring with tears flowing abundantly, gazing in awe, totally lost in memories made from the pavilion’s past.
We are saddened and in shock having lost what was once the buzz of our neighborhood and community. The memories made from so many weddings, family reunions, the many Easter Egg hunts, all the company picnics, the gatherings from the early Grande Ronde settlers in the spring time — oh so many memories.
We are in hopes the city and the county are able to rebuild the pavilion. It will not replace the original building, but will provide the future generations a place of gatherings. That, after all, was the unique thing about the pavilion at Riverside Park — it provided us all a place to gather!
Dan and Honour Bowen
Trickle of money
I am writing in response to the Feb. 9 editorial column, in which the editorial board made the insinuation that the people who oppose the Antelope Ridge Wind Farm do not support schools. This is at the very best a cheap shot. Actually, I am not even aware that the school districts support the SIP as it stands.
The truth is that corporations like Horizon profit enormously from massive government subsidies and huge tax breaks, while the people of Union County are supposed to be grateful for the little trickle of money they will provide the local schools. At the same time we pay with lost property value, lost wildlife, lost tax dollars, lost health and lost livability.
I understand that the editorial column is the opinion of the editorial board, and we all have a right to our own opinion. Last November, 52 percent of Union County voters were of the opinion that they do not support a wind farm here. Perhaps The Observer editorial board owes these voters an apology, because in truth, they don’t really know how these people voted on the last school levy.
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