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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for May 10, 2011


Letters and comments for May 10, 2011

Letters and comments for May 10, 2011

Needs lead sponsor

To the Editor:

Those of us who worked on Crossing the Blues Summer Festival agree with The Observer’s editorial on April 19, “Crossing the Blues founders were right when they said Union County’s vibrant arts community is something to recognize and celebrate. That one special weekend showing some of what the county has to offer was a good idea. The community needs a showcase festival.’’

We also agree that while it was only moderately successful, after all it does take time to build such events, it had potential. But that potential required an organization to step up to the plate and provide the structure under which we could apply for grants, contract with musicians and other artists and generally do ongoing business. 

As The Observer noted, no organization stepped forward. However, the paper was wrong in suggesting that it should have been the Union County Chamber of Commerce. The chamber represents all of Union County and to single out La Grande for a chamber-sponsored event would have been at odds with its mission.

Nonetheless, the chamber was instrumental in keeping the festival going for the last two years. Crossing the Blues started under the sponsorship of the La Grande Downtown Association, but when they folded, the chamber agreed to provide the financial bookkeeping we needed. Executive Director Judy Hector not only took care of the books for Crossing the Blues, she also provided excellent marketing for the festival.

But ultimately if the festival was to survive as a downtown La Grande event, it needed to be sponsored by an organization dedicated to promoting La Grande. That was what we were unable to engineer.

La Grande does deserve a signature event; we have great talent and beautiful scenery to showcase and promote. A small group of dedicated volunteers showed that it could be done in the short-run, but success in the long-run requires a permanent organization to be the lead sponsor.

Judy Hector, Colleen Johnson, Jon Larkin

La Grande

Students deserve quality

To the Editor:

As a teacher, it is frustrating to be asked to provide a quality education and ensure students meet state standards while working with outdated textbooks and in buildings that are desperately in need of maintenance. It is even more frustrating when we are asked to do this on a shortened school year.

Teachers are continually asked to do more with less. We have to ensure that “No Child is Left Behind.” (Though the title has changed, the reality has not.) How can we keep doing this? Are we really expected to make sure that all students can pass the state tests and graduate from high school ready to enter college under these conditions? These are not just today’s students, they are our future employers, employees and community members.

I realize this is a “difficult time” and an unstable economy, but when will times be good for education? The local option levy is asking for just enough to maintain our current status and provide needed maintenance and textbooks. The cost to the average homeowner in La Grande is about $8.25 per month. Given the minimal financial impact and the overall benefit to students, I implore you to support the local option levy and help the La Grande School District continue to provide the quality education our students deserve.

Evonne Cranford

LHS math teacher

La Grande


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