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The Observer Paper 12/22/14

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Elgin needs to get

behind skate effort

Tess Wagner and her daughters have launched an idea that their fellow Elginites ought to take note of — kids in the Elgin area need more things to do. The Wagners and several others gathered Saturday to make a point by skating at the industrial park and heading downtown to draw attention to their cause.

THE GROUP does have a point. Kids need things to do. And although most towns — including Elgin — have scout groups and youth sports, there remains a need not being filled. The more options that are available to kids and families, the better off a community will be.

Wagner noted that when she was a kid growing up in Elgin the community had a skating rink. The rink closed years ago. Nothing has surfaced to take its place. As other communities have rallied to build skate parks for kids, those in communities without recreational amenities have taken note.

THE REALITY TODAY is that local governments don't have the wherewithal to meet all the needs of residents. Recreation has become a lower priority as governments struggle to provide essential services. But what Wagner and the Elgin kids did Saturday was broadcast that a need exists that is not being met. The community itself needs to rally around that cause.

Perhaps the city can assist in providing a place where a skate park could be built if the community can raise the funds to build it. The city could also help coordinate a fund-raising effort. But the responsibility for raising funds would be up to those who are interested in seeing the park built.

THIS PAST WEEKEND Elgin kids helped demonstrate the need and a desire to get something done. Where they go from here is up to them. The people who helped develop a skate park in La Grande might be willing to help with planning.

If the people interested in the project are serious, the community should get behind them.


The countdown for political letters has started. Due to space limitations, The Observer is restricting the number of letters that can be submitted for candidates and for or against measures to five each.

LETTERS HAVE STARTED rolling in for some candidates and measures. More will be arriving in the next few days. Ballots are due to be sent out Oct. 17.

If you want to write a letter to the editor to urge the election of a particular candidate, do it soon. The clock is ticking and our deadline is Oct. 30 for letters for the Nov. 5 election.

Please limit your letters to 300 words or less. Letters can be e-mailed to

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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